Being Nice Is Worth More Than Being Temporarily Cool.
Panned, bland, flimsy, people-pleasing, saccharine — nice has had a bad rap recently, as well as a varied history.
The origin of this commonly spoken word is from the Latin nescius, which literally means ‘not knowing’ or ‘ignorant’. Some of the synonyms for nice are polite, friendly or delicate, and convey a more exacting description. Is it the case that nice has become an overused, filler word and even lost its identity?
And then what happens when nice is tagged to girl? Nice girls used to be consigned to a familiar route according to an unwritten rulebook. They would be the self-sacrificing woman a mother would advise her son to marry and settle down with.
Nowadays, when anything is possible and you are given the nice girl title, I would argue that being one is just a strand of her character, as we all revel in the complexities of each other.
Think Fearne Cotton, the well-known British personality. This nice girl graduated from children’s BBC TV presenter to chipper radio DJ. Now in motherhood, she has gloriously diversified into vegan cookery book writing, #HappyPlace podcasting, and holds an ambassadorial role for MIND, the mental health charity.
She is multi-faceted, current, and you also get the impression you would be relaxed and interested in Ms Cotton’s company.
In the new millennium, if a situation needs to be better or you want harmony to exist, stand forward the nice girl. If you want to be unashamedly feminine with your choice of hobbies — baking, crafting, drawing — bring on a nice girl. Her human qualities are such that getting on with children and animals are as instinctive as her name is sweet.
For remember, this girl has been loved and made to feel precious by her parents since the day she was born, and it shows.
She wears her engaging smile like an official trademark to attract people to her. This woman also knows about leveling manners and respect to all. So she is often perplexed and has jaw-dropping moments when her genuine niceness is misconstrued as a façade to bring in brownie points.
There are no ulterior motives, no game plan, she simply wants to make people feel good, be it through compliments or brokering peace.
Amongst her female peers, perhaps, the nice girl is not always valued for what she represents and can bring to any given situation. She will not turn into the loud, frothy party girl whipping up an electric atmosphere, and her badge of niceness does not guarantee her popularity. The older generation will get her.
You will sometimes hear the opposite gender cut straight to the chase and remark about her nice qualities.
She will be riled, belittled, people will try to get a rise out of her to see how nice she is. Possibly in the past she would have tried to have shaken off this weighty status, but our nice girls learn that actually having this title is worth more than being temporarily cool. Nice, I would argue, sticks, and is at the center of your core like a soft-centered chocolate.
The very essence of being nice oozes out, surprising people and causing ripples of the feel-good factor.
You may not want to admit it, but nice is the new good.
Since joining a writing group at work at a London University, Keri France has become more productive. She now has 20 published articles and a short story to her credit. Currently working on various projects. Keri surrounds herself with real, creative people, and is fascinated by people who surprise and choose what they want to be.